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A&F Exec to Get $13.5M in Deal

Robert S. Singer, who resigned last week as president and chief operating officer of Abercrombie & Fitch, inked a separation agreement that entitles him to $13.5 million.

NEW YORK — Robert S. Singer, who resigned last week as president and chief operating officer of Abercrombie & Fitch, inked a separation agreement that entitles him to $13.5 million, according to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Singer’s resignation was on Aug. 31. He had been at the retailer for 15 months, and his replacement is being sought. Abercrombie & Fitch said in a statement that Singer and the company had “a difference in approach to the timing and extent of our expansion into certain international markets.”

According to the separation agreement, Singer gets a lump sum, which equals his base salary and a target bonus that would have been paid out between the time of his separation and May 17, 2007. He also gets a “pro rata bonus,” which is part of his incentive compensation plan for the fall of this year. Also included in the separation pay package is a lump sum “equal to the life insurance premium payments, welfare and pension benefits” that Singer would have collected through May 17, 2007. Other payouts include reimbursements relating to travel expenses, car leases and housing allowances.

The former executive is also allowed the “continued use of a personal assistant” through the end of this year as well as reimbursement (up to $20,000) for legal fees relating to his separation agreement.

The retailer said in the filing that “it anticipates that the separation agreement will result in a non-recurring charge to earnings in the third quarter of approximately $13.5 million.”

Singer, 53, replaced Seth R. Johnson. Singer joined the retailer from Gucci Group, where he had been cfo for nine years. At Abercrombie, Singer was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the company and strategies to support the growth of its retail formats.

During Singer’s time at the company, Abercrombie launched its newest concept, Ruehl, in September 2004. Recently, the company has been active in pursuing an international presence. In February, the retailer said it planned to open six stores in Canada. In May, the company said it established subsidiaries in Europe and Japan, where it plans to open stores in late 2006 or 2007.

This story first appeared in the September 6, 2005 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Abercrombie has had an interest in ex-Gucci Group executives of late. Aside from Singer, the company hired Gucci Japan’s former president, Toshiaki Tashiro, as director of its Japanese arm.

Regarding the retailer’s European expansion, Abercrombie hired two more ex-Gucci executives, Francesco Giannaccari and Luca Mavaro, as president and cfo, respectively, of its European subsidiary.